Thursday, October 4, 2012

Blue Skies & Book Talk

What's funny is that I actually feel like the onset of fall clarifies a few things. I'm kind of a transitional person (read: I am indecisive and change my mind every four seconds), and seasons that aren't really one thing or the other tend to speak to me, so right now the weather is good for my brain.

Although I do maintain spring is the best of all seasons. Granted, my birthday is in March, so I'm a little biased towards that time of year... which, by the way, is basically still winter in Illinois but is already delightfully on its way to full-on Seriously Spring in South Carolina. Don't get me wrong, the shift in climate isn't exactly like going from northern Canada to Florida or anything, but it is noticeable.

Right now is kind of a jangly time for Jason and I; we want to plan further than we are currently able to, but life keeps making sure we're reminded that it is nothing if not foolish to attempt to draw up concrete lists when the universe has other ideas.

I catch myself making five-year-plans, calling them foolproof, only to have to scratch some things out and move other things around a few weeks, months, or a year later.

The universe is a fickle mistress.

 One of my friends recently publicly announced her pregnancy, and between that and my niece's continual insistence on growing into an awesome person when my back is turned, it's really got me thinking about how we're going to fit a family into our house here as soon as possible. Well, maybe not as soon as possible.

As soon as the whole idea stops being kind of terrifying we are properly prepared.

Yeah, I like that one better.

The sky today was mostly clear and very blue.

Although here in the Upstate with all these rolling hills and the proximity of the mountains, it's not really like Illinois... well, a sky like today's sky still reminds me of it.

Central Illinois on a day like this is a great blue bowl overturned on flat fields that are brown lines, dust kicking up behind combines and sometimes obscuring the road. It's a thought that makes me a little bit homesick, although I hesitate to call it "homesick" since South Carolina is rapidly worming its way into my heart as well.

Well, one can have two homes and be homesick for whichever one you're not currently living in, I guess.

I can get kind of pathetic about it, though. For instance, I very nearly wrote an entry before work that would have been entirely about an old button-up shirt of Dad's that I stole from his closet sometime around ten years ago and still keep in mine.


I had a surprising amount of words dedicated to my sentimental attachment to this old plaid cotton shirt, overlapping deep teal, red, and black with pearly white snap buttons... and then I realized I was writing a blog entry about a shirt. I think there are better ways for you guys to spend your time than reading me waxing poetic about a couple pieces of cotton.

So instead I've waxed poetic about the sky, combines, and having babies preparing the house for the idea of maybe considering the concept of possibly conceivably considering having children.

Clearly an improvement.

Aren't you just so glad I share these things with you?

Good times are had by all.

 Currently reading: Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson.

This is one of the best nonfiction books ever written; it is simultaneously the story of the Chicago Worlds' Fair and the Fair's main architect, Daniel Burnham as well as a story about the chilling, truth-is-more-horrifying-than-fiction actions of serial killer H. H. Holmes and his accomplices, who turned an empty lot into a hotel that promised horror and death to many who stepped foot inside.

Larson is a novelist at heart, and he relies extensively on letters, memoirs, and other documents to be able to place dialogue directly into the story, not just using descriptors and exposition to move the story forward.

 I was going to put something here about how many times I've read the book, but I actually don't know because I don't exactly keep count or anything. Suffice to say, I have read this book many times. I first checked it out from the library back in my hometown, and got my hands on a copy of my own as soon as I could. It has a pretty important place on our overstuffed bookshelves.

Larson also wrote another favorite nonfiction book of mine, In the Garden of Beasts, about the final American ambassador to Germany before the official onset of World War II and his family. Like I said - Larson is a novelist whose novels just happen to be true. He is one of my all-time favorite writers.

I don't own In the Garden of Beasts, though... yet.

It's on one of my lists of things to do somewhere, I'm sure.

Probably right after remembering to actually paint the walls of our new house sometime.

I'll get right on that, I promise.

Right after I attend to this shiny other unrelated thing that has suddenly gathered my full attention instead.

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